20Ten is the thirty-fifth studio album by American recording artist Prince. It was released on July 10, 2010 by NPG Records as a free covermount with the Daily Mirror and Daily Record in the UK and Ireland, and Het Nieuwsblad and De Gentenaar in Belgium. It was also released on July 22, 2010, with Rolling Stone magazine in Germany, and Courrier International in France.
The album was produced, arranged, composed, and performed by Prince at Paisley Park Studios in Chanhassen, Minnesota. It is his thirty-third studio album released in the UK. 20Ten contains musical elements of funk, pop, rock, and soul music. Some names of the tracks from the album were revealed as clues in Prince's song "Cause and Effect" which was released to radio earlier in 2010
20Ten is about pleasant beats rather than forging new ground. Prince was never going to split the atom with 20Ten, but it still shows Prince is honing his sound in his homage to the Linn drum machine, right from the off with the excitable opener Compassion. 20Ten is heavy on technology, low on guitar and with flavourings of backing vocals and anchored by trusty old Hornz. Afterwards we move to Beginning Endlessly, a punching, funk-fuelled track showcased Prince’s craftsmanship remains as sharp as we expect of any of his music. As ballads go Future Soul Song is a true highlight. Sung, unusually, out of falsetto, Prince’s deep voice pulls this writhing beauty of a song that will find you cranking up volume and reminiscing ’96s The Most Beautiful Girl In The World. 20Ten regains tempo with the bouncy although sadly average Sticky Like Glue and Act Of God before heading back to 1980s synths with Lavaux closing the chorus-friendly middle section of 20Ten. In the back half it closes with Everybody Loves Me, a happy but again average electro track, though with a little patience comes the reward, the hidden track, Laydown. Rocky, hard-edge and swathed in a truly fantastic driving beat Laydown seems an afterthought but brings life to and an end to a not totally exciting but competent 20Ten with aggressive and gorgeously arrogant form. But is Prince listening to too much easy listening radio? Should he not want appeal to the under 30s market? Full of oddments and considering the success of recent albums, fans expect more Prince in their Prince albums. User Comments